Afrojack, Diplo, Topher Jones
4790 W 16th St
Indianapolis, IN, 46222
The stars must've been aligned just right when Nick van de Wall (better known as Afrojack) saw his first ray of light. Music was his first love since his early youth. He started playing piano when he was only five. Being a very creative student, Afrojack spent most of his time listening to all kinds of music while studying. It was no surprise that it didn't take him long to turn the tables and start making music instead of just listening to it.
Known internationally as a curator amongst the world's most cutting edge DJs, producers, and musical movements Wesley Pentz (better known as DIPLO) has experienced a variety of successes. The last few years have been spent running through the club circuit and having chart-topping hits with refreshing irreverence. Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1978, Pentz spent most his childhood in Florida working in his fathers bait shop and being turned onto music through then new mediums like MTV. Drifting North through the state came Miami Bass and from the West came the sounds of Southern hip-hop artists. The musical influence and variety coalesced, and at 18, Pentz moved to Philadelphia for college at Temple University to study Film & Music. While a student he took a job in the South Philadephia community as a social worker and created the influential Hollertronix club night, which was the beginning of his fledgling career as DIPLO.
In 2004 Pentz released his debut album as Diplo called, Florida. It received praise and accolades in the underground community. The music embodied on this album led to an introduction via an A&R man at XL Records to M.I.A. In 2004 he partnered with M.I.A. for the mixtape Piracy Funds Terrorism. Pentz's cultural impact had started to snowball. Together they worked on her first album Arular and much of her second Kala, including the 2008 mega-hit "Paper Planes," which reached No. 3 in the US Charts and earned him a Grammy nomination for Record of the Year. His production credits have evolved since to include Santigold, Lil' Jon and Missy Elliot, while remixing works by Beck, Radiohead, Britney Spears and countless others. In 2009 Pentz teamed with frequent collaborator Dave Taylor (aka Switch) to release the futuristic dancehall album Guns Don't Kill People… Lazers Do under the guise of Major Lazer, a Jamaican militant at war with an evil army of zombies, mummies and vampires.
Meanwhile, his record label Mad Decent has helped to introduce Brazilian baile funk, Angolan Kuduro and other marginalized music to clubs around the world, developing as a trendsetting force with which to be reckoned. With the same mission in mind, some of the varied acts Pentz has signed or produced include Rye Rye, Bonde do Role, Crookers, Blaqstarr, Boy 8-Bit, Buraka Som Systema, and Rusko, allowing Mad Decent to act as a launching pad or home base for many others while spreading its influence across the globe. Through the label, Pentz has founded a charity called Heaps Decent as a social relief program to help children in Australia as well as with additional efforts internationally. In early 2009 Pentz debuted his film Favela on Blast, a five-years-in-the-making documentary exploring the Brazilian slum favelas of Rio de Janeiro and the thriving baile funk music scene that exists within. He is currently developing a TV show.
Through a widespread assortment of releases and artists' works – from cumbia to dubstep to punk and beyond – Diplo has shown dynamic range with interests that span far beyond any singular culture or musical realm, standing as a working model for the truly 21st Century artist.
Topher Jones is a breakout American DJ poised to take the country by storm and put Chicago back on the map as the house capital of the world. Hailing from the Windy City and currently signed to a major deal with Ultra Records, Topher’s fall release schedule is slammed with massive originals and remixes on the likes of Ultra, OWSLA, and Garuda.
His latest single, ‘Brohammer’, was called a ‘beas
t of a track’ by EDM legend Gareth Emery, hit the top 10 overall on Beatport, and has received support from DJs all across the globe. Featuring a Nari & Milani remix, Brohammer is smashing festival sets and becoming a 2012 college anthem.
Topher’s music has been played by DJs across musical genres, from Tiesto to Skrillex, Armin van Buuren to Knife Party, Gareth Emery to 12th Planet, Above and Beyond to Pendulum. His records seamlessly cross musical boundaries as they dip and dive between big room house, dirty baselines, and carefully crafted melodies. A song-writer as well as a producer, Topher has a hand in every aspect of the recording process and takes great pride in creating songs with depth and character.
An Indianapolis native who moved to Chicago after college, Topher has been producing music for over 10 years but continues to attack his craft with the same single-minded passion and determination. When asked about his success, he said, “Hard work trumps everything. Be kind, be courteous, be passionate and be grateful. Hard work with that mentality and a little bit of talent can go a long way.” This mindset not only affects his music, but also how Topher interacts with his fans and community as he consistently donates time and money to causes in the greater Chicago area.
So be ready, the future of American house music is here.